Things are progressing in the garden very well for the most part. Broad beans, peas, some lettuce, arugula and carrots are popping up. A few lettuce varieties I planted haven't shown up yet... not sure what is up with that. I'm going to wait until it warms a bit, then try replanting them. I need those early crops!
I am stoked to report I finished all 50 of my garden beds on March 26. It was 11 days later than my goal, but that's ok... I got it done, and am feeling quite proud of that fact. Most beds are planted now, but I've saved a few beds to plant assorted beans into later this month when it gets warmer. I've also been working on doing yet another business plan... I am applying to the government for a grant, to see if I can get further funding so I can put the rest of the garden beds in, as well as finish my orchard and berry patch. I also want to build a few new chicken coops, so I can rotate their pasture, and the chickens will always have fresh pasture to forage in. After this winter, the chicken runs look like giant mud patties. I can't imagine that it's the healthiest thing for chickens to walk around on.
A friend of a friend gave me 30 laying hens a few weeks ago. They are just the regular laying hens, which give you huge eggs, but I still love my Dorkings the best. The new layers just drop dead every once in a while... they are definitely not as hardy as the heritage breeds.
Here is a sample of the difference in the eggs:
Even though the Dorking eggs are smaller, the birds win the contest for overall hardiness and ease of keeping. I am keeping my fingers crossed right now.... 5 of my hens are broody, and I am hoping for some little Dorking chicks soon!
Here is a pic of my new layers. There were 30 of them, but Reckless ate 2, and 4 died spotaneously.
I am also taking part in a challenge- it's called the Nourished Kitchen. It's teaching people how to eat traditionally, like we did 100 years ago and more - BEFORE we had tooth decay, and everyone got chubby. It's the direction I've wanted to go anyway, but didn't really know how to start- alot of the things we used to do to eat have been lost in the mass of processed foods we eat these days. So, I am learning how to make my own sourdough bread (and pancakes!) at the moment. It's really interesting! Things I didn't know: sourdough bread is WAY healthier for you, plus it keeps your blood sugar levels even, and is especially good for diabetics. This is the link if you are thinking of doing the same thing: http://nourishedkitchen.com/
I am looking for a cow to buy shares in, so I can get ahold of raw milk, and learn to make my own butter and yogurt products. It's so exciting to try all this stuff! The best part since I've been eating these foods is this:
I AM NOT GETTING THE TREMENDOUS SUGAR CRAVINGS I NORMALLY HAVE. I have been a junk food junky all my life, and every time I've tried to 'eat healthy' in the past (low fat, blah, blah, blah) I've had sugar cravings that have almost killed me. This week, I bought a chocolate bar and put it into my fridge. For anyone who knows me, that bar would usually have been gone the day, no, the minute I bought it. It has been 4 days, and it is still in my fridge. I've had a couple of bites, but that little bit was all I needed. I am so excited to try some new traditional recipes, and see where it takes me...
The cherry blossoms are out and I just had to take a picture of my little Aaron cherry tree all dressed up. Can't wait for those cherries this summer!
I also have 2 new arrivals at the farm. Katrina, who owns the horse that boards with me got 2 little Shetland ponies- Babe and Lenny. They are so cute, and a joy to have at the farm!
I went to a meeting a couple of weeks ago for people who raise heritage turkeys. You know how much I hated those damn turkeys....
Well, I am going to try again. There was some really awesome people there, and one of the ladies is going to come over and help me clip the turkey wings, so I don't have escapes every 10 seconds. In theory, it should be a little less stressful this time around...
We are also getting a new food made for the turkeys and chickens, which mimics closer the feed we used to give these birds. We should get faster growth out of them... it will be interesting to try it, and see what the difference is!